View Full Version : Welcome Ebony!

Harry & Heidi's mom
20th April 2006, 08:32 PM

Last night i rescued a B&T called Ebony.
Her previous owner was ready to place her into kennels :(

She is 6 years old and very overweight so any advice on how to help her lose weight would be appreciated!


Cathy T
21st April 2006, 01:01 AM
Good for you!!! Gradually cut back on the food, change the treats to vegetables. These things both worked for both of mine.

Harry & Heidi's mom
21st April 2006, 07:11 AM
thanks cathy,

how much food should i be giving her? she is on dried food i'm going today to get a "diet" food for her.

Cathy T
21st April 2006, 03:22 PM
I'm not sure. I only know what worked for me. My guys eat Ca Natural and Shelby gets 1/3 cup and Jake gets a scant 2/3 cup. They also have veggies in the a.m. and a biscuit. Of course, there are occasional treats during the day.

21st April 2006, 06:34 PM
Hey that's great!!

The amount to feed depends on her weight right now. And also increase her exercise so she is getting a couple of walks each day, too. At her age you'll want to have her heart checked. Losing weight will really help her health.

You can cut WAAAAYYYYY back though -- if she is in the 20lb range (stone and a half or so) I'd not be feeding her more than about 2/3rds of a cup of food supplemented by some veggie only treats like carrot slices or green pepper slices, or fruit pieces (eg apple slices, banana pieces). Not a lot of treats either. Can you weigh her or will your vet weigh her?

Also try feeding her her dry food from a treatball -- then she has to work to get her food.

This is the recommendation on losing weight from breeder Laura Lang in the US:

Due to MVD, being overweight is nearly a death sentence for a Cavalier. I guarantee you the best way to prolong your Cavalier's life is to keep it's weight to a MINIMUM! Not overweight even a little bit. THIN! If your Cavalier is even a little bit overweight, it will hasten the onset of MVD and death. Do not allow this to happen.

There is no way to tell you just how much your dog will need so far as quantity of kibble. Cavaliers vary GREATLY in their activity level. I know some 20 lbs. dogs that only need 1/2 cup of food a day and others that need a full cup or even more. I know some 10 lbs. dogs that only need 1/3 cup of food a day and others that need a full cup or even more. It is too dependent on the metabolism and activity level of each individual dog. You will have to use a hit and miss approach to figure out which amount is right for your dog. Try 2/3 of a cup to 1 full cup per day for an adult Cavalier over 1 year of age and watch to see if the dog is gaining weight or losing weight. Adjust accordingly. If they seem to be getting heavier, cut back. If they seem to be getting lighter, feed more. Also most dogs will need more food when the temperature outside is colder. Now how do you tell if your dog is getting heavy or not? Hopefully the following will help you figure that out.

Your vet is not the person to ask! Over the years I have been amazed to find out that vets are very reluctant to tell an owner their dog is overweight until the dog is quite overweight--till the dog is so overweight it is very hard to get it off. Here are two ways to judge if your dog is overweight.

First is the rib test. Look for a hand towel or dish towel in your house. Fold it in half. Find a wire crate, wire fencing or expen, something with wire not spaced too far apart. Rub the towel over the wire several times and get used to how it feels. How does the wire feel, how easily does the towel move under your fingers? Now rub your fingers over the ribs on your dog. It should feel quite similar. A VERY thin amount of skin that moves easily over the ribs--ribs which can easily be felt and counted. If you feel some padding under the skin, the dog is mildly overweight. If you feel a lot of padding, you have to press a bit to feel individual ribs, and the skin doesn't move around easily--the dog is definitely overweight.

The second test is the waist test. Stand over your dog and look down at it while it is standing with the dog facing the same direction as you are. You can also use your hands with this test. As you are looking down at the dog you can see where the ribs are. If you are not sure run your hands from the shoulders over the ribs down to where the ribs end so you will know just where the ribs are. After the last rib, and before the hips, you should see a distinct indentation--a waist. If you can barely see an indentation, the dog is mildly overweight. If there is no indentation at all, the dog is definitely overweight. The following are three pictures of dogs. None are really overweight, but they will help somewhat in teaching you what to look for as some are have a tinch more weight than they should. I hope to get a picture of a very thin Cavalier and a very heavy Cavalier at some point in the future.

Lots more here plus pictures:


Harry & Heidi's mom
21st April 2006, 06:44 PM
Thanks karlin,

her heart is clear (luckly) but she is very very overweight! sooo big she can't scratch her own ears!!!
i have a photo but can't resize it to put it on here.
she is getting 2/3 long walks a day, no treats except veg and fruit, but she is very lazy and sleeps most of the time.

21st April 2006, 07:00 PM
Heh! As the weight comes off I bet she'll get a bit more active. I'm sure she is so fat because she has not had to move her cavalier behind in a long time... :) Harry will get her busy I bet too.

That's great about her heart!!

Good job on rescuing her, too. :flwr:

Harry & Heidi's mom
21st April 2006, 07:10 PM
i desperatly need her to lose weight as i need to have her spayed!
i can't have harry "done" as it was a condition of his sale.

Ebony was used as a breeding bitch, so i want to ensure that she has no more pups!

i'm keeping them seperated when i'm not in the house, or whenever i'm upstairs and not there to watch them.

21st April 2006, 07:46 PM
Talk to your vet. Does s/he feel she can't be spayed while overweight? It isn't going to make any difference whether she loses weight before or after a spay. Unless she is so grossly obese they feel surgery is risky I'd just go ahead and schedule her.

Odd that a condition of sale would be not to neuter a male -- unless they are serious show quality dogs intended for show/breeding, usually neutering is a requirement (eg a 'restricted contract' -- this is the norm for the two US and the UK CKCS national clubs). Did you breeder say why you couldn't neuter?

Harry & Heidi's mom
21st April 2006, 07:49 PM
she wants to breed from him.

will have a word with my vet see if he'll spay her

Harry & Heidi's mom
22nd April 2006, 05:13 PM

HOPEFULLY this will show ebony

23rd April 2006, 11:33 AM
Good on you for rescuing this "little" darling. Just a bit more to cuddle than most!! :D
Julie and the girls

23rd April 2006, 12:28 PM
She is a beauty even with the chubbs. Congratulations!

24th April 2006, 11:03 AM
Just more of her to love, but it will be so much better for her to lost the weight - our neighbours rescued a cav who was fat, (he was with elderly owners who feed him lots of treats, never took him out and never socialised him) which is a shame as my three would love to play with him and he is sooo scared. Anyway, they put him on a quality food, and then feed him about 50 grams in the morning and the afternoon, he was walked twice a day, and when he got used to the children would put with them, he is now about he size of Woody, but it did take about 3 to 5 months to get him down.

24th April 2006, 01:04 PM
I am sure you will work with Ebony and help to get her weight down
with cutting back her diet and exercise.

She has a adorable face, not her fault obviously any dog woud keep
eating if the owner was constantly offering food.

For Health reasons and her alone to feel better, I would slowly cut her
back she sure is gorgeous.

Harry & Heidi's mom
24th April 2006, 01:41 PM
another photo of Ebony with my son mark.....